The Texas Senate elected state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, to serve as president pro tempore during the 87th Legislature. Birdwell had the unique privilege of being sworn in by his brother, Justice Wade Birdwell of Arlington.
The President pro tempore of the Texas Senate is a constitutional office chosen pursuant to Senate rules and is traditionally reserved for a senior Senate member. The pro tem, as it's often shortened, is third in the line of succession to the governor of Texas and presides as governor in the absence of the governor and the lieutenant governor.
In his first remarks as pro tem, Birdwell began by thanking his wife, Mel, and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Birdwell also expressed gratitude for the people of Senate District 22.
"To my constituents, who for several elections have trusted me with sitting in the seat that they own, I am deeply grateful for your trust and confidence over the last decade," Birdwell said.
Birdwell rounded out his appreciation by giving thanks for "the Lord's grace in carrying [him] this far."
A war veteran himself, Birdwell postured the \chamber for the upcoming session by offering a twist on the famous words of Gen. MacArthur.
"Duty, Senate, Texas ... my commitment is to my duty, my fellows senators that have chosen me, and to the citizens of Texas that I will serve," he said.
Noting the unprecedented nature of this Biennium, Birdwell promised to live by those watchwords.
Birdwell concluded his remarks, "What a great place Texas is — for an old soldier who now resides in Granbury of Hood County to be able to serve in such a capacity."